In a world where a quick Google search can answer even the toughest question in just seconds, we love the delicious act of waiting for a surprise in the mail. But while most subscription boxes give you a pretty good idea of what to expect (makeup and books, hooray!), we found one very unique subscription box for kids ages 9 to 14 that remains just as magical and enigmatic as the Loch Ness Monster, right up until they open the box.
Thanks to the geniuses at Wonder and Company, every few months, your child will receive a Kids’ Mystery Box delivered right to your doorstep. The only clue as to what hides inside is a cryptic teaser that precedes it in the mail, a missive that your kid will pore over, repeating every word, trying to figure out why some hotel across the country thinks they left a perplexing map covered in esoteric scribblings on their bed. And what’s this postcard mean? And what’s marked on the map? Imagination: sparked. (And just wait until the box itself arrives.)
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My completely enchanted 10-year-old daughter opened her Mystery Box like it was Christmas, and the unboxing was a sight to behold. Layer after layer of thoughtfully packed memorabilia, ephemera, patches and buttons, and artwork were revealed. Included was a sturdy traveler’s sack where every pocket of the bag was filled with new goodies to discover. A twine-bound booklet finally brought all the pieces together, revealing that this particular mystery box was based on hunting for cryptids, the mysterious and possibly imaginary creatures of the world. From a slice of handmade Sasquatch soap (Soapsquatch — genius!) to hand-painted figurines (the furry trout and jackalope were favorites), every detail had been carefully curated to delight. Although the box is made for tweens and young teens, her little brother watched over her shoulder, mesmerized, and asked if a box would arrive for him when he turned 10 too.
The Mystery Box is expensive ($72 for each of the four boxes, shipping within the U.S. is included), but the richness of this gift is astounding — from the wonder of discovery to the joy of storytelling as they put the pieces together and become part of the narrative. For my daughter, a budding writer, the first step was to pull out her laptop and start writing a story about her trip hunting for Nessie.
So, I say, for all those greatest aunts in the world out there who give the best holiday gifts or the grandparents who are forever hounding you for what to give a kid who has everything, look no further.
(Pssst… They also make boxes for adults, if this idea has your imagination twitching.)
You can subscribe to the Kids’ Mystery Box at Wonder and Company. Thanks to them for sending me the best birthday gift my 10-year-old could ask for.
Special offer for CMP readers: Wonderful Objects is now offering $10 off any subscription plan with the code COOLWONDER10. But don’t wait — add this to your kids’ holiday wishlists now.